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The Bible, the Spirit of Prophecy, and the Church

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    Partaking of the Word of God

    There is a rich experience awaiting every true believer in Jesus, and that is to enter into the enjoyment of partaking of the nutriment of the word of God. The divine seed, the word, was implanted when we received Christ Jesus the Lord; now we are to grow up into Him. But we grow up into Him when we partake continually of the same Sacred Word that was instrumental in our being born again. “As you have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him.” Colossians 2:6.BSPC 73.7

    This is our privilege, but it is also our duty to grow in the knowledge of the truth and to grow up “unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13.BSPC 74.1

    We are invited also to “taste and see that the Lord is good.” Psalm 34:8. When we began to serve Jesus we received the “milk of the word” (1 Peter 2:2); now, as we grow, we take more solid nourishment. In the language of the apostle, we begin to partake of “strong meat.” This belongs to all who grow in Christian grace and experience.BSPC 74.2

    Frequently in the word of God we find spiritual things likened to some of the foods that grace our own tables. It is likened to “bread” (John 6:48, 58), “food” (Job 23:12), “honey” (Revelation 10:9), and the psalmist, referring to the delight which came to his own soul in partaking of the delectable things of the Divine Word, remarks:BSPC 74.3

    “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” Psalm 119:103.BSPC 74.4

    “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Psalm 19:10.BSPC 74.5

    Of this Sacred Word we are to partake, and as it is received into the soul, we shall grow in spiritual strength and find victory over sin day by day. We read:BSPC 74.6

    “If you would live the true Christian life, the conscience must be quickened by constant contact with the word of God. All the precious things which at infinite cost God has provided for us will do us no good; they cannot strengthen us and produce spiritual growth unless we appropriate them. We must eat the word of God,—make it a part of ourselves.”—Testimonies for the Church 7:195.BSPC 74.7

    “They [the followers of Christ] must receive and assimilate the word of God so that it shall become the motive power of life and action.... They must eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of God, or there is no life in them.”—Patriarchs and Prophets, 278.BSPC 74.8

    Time and again God counsels His people to enter fully into this experience. The shepherds of the flock must “feed my sheep” (John 21:17); they must also “feed my lambs” (verse 15). The “sheep of his pasture” taste “the good word of God” (Hebrews 6:5), they will prove the goodness and mercy of God. Jeremiah of old knew by practical experience what this meant, for he declared:BSPC 74.9

    “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16.BSPC 75.1

    Jesus also in His lessons, not only to the members of the apostolic band, but to the Pharisees who heard Him, brought the same spiritual truths to their hearts. It took a long time for them to grasp the significance of His words. Jesus said:BSPC 75.2

    “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.... Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Who so eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, bath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:51-54.BSPC 75.3

    This was strange doctrine, and the Jews standing around raised the query: “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” Verse 52. Even the disciples complained and murmured, “This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” Verse 60.BSPC 75.4

    The problem in their minds was so acute that “from that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.” Verse 66.BSPC 75.5

    Truly, this was strange doctrine, but it was sound doctrine, a teaching that every Christian must know and experience. We partake of Christ when we partake of His word, for Jesus Himself said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” Verse 63.BSPC 75.6

    An interesting illustration is seen in the life of David. On one occasion his life and that of his men were in jeopardy. In the crisis, David experienced a real longing for water from a well by the city of Bethlehem. He expressed this desire in the hearing of some of his mighty men. Three of them, without David’s knowledge, slipped away from the company, and much to David’s astonishment brought him the water he desired. When he saw it, however, he would not drink it, for he said:BSPC 75.7

    “Be it far from me, O Lord, that I should do this: is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? Therefore he would not drink it. These things did these three mighty men.” 2 Samuel 23:17.BSPC 75.8

    Another record gives this wording:BSPC 76.1

    “My God forbid it me, that I should do this thing: shall I drink the blood of these men that have put their lives in jeopardy? For with the jeopardy of their lives they brought it. Therefore he would not drink it.” 1 Chronicles 11:19.BSPC 76.2

    Obviously had David partaken of this water he would, as he mentions, have partaken of the blood of his men. That water had been secured at the risk of their lives. They might easily have been slain. It was a miracle they had come back alive, and David knew it. These men had been willing to sacrifice their lives for their master, so David refused to drink of the water, because that water represented the blood of these men. In like manner does the word of God in the Scriptures of truth represent the sacred and precious blood of the Son of God. If we partake of the one, we partake of the other. We are told:BSPC 76.3

    “It is through the word that Christ abides in His followers. This is the same vital union that is represented by eating His flesh and drinking His blood. The words of Christ are spirit and life. Receiving them, you receive the life of the Vine.... Living in Christ, adhering to Christ, supported by Christ, drawing nourishment from Christ, you bear fruit after the similitude of Christ.”—The Desire of Ages, 677.BSPC 76.4

    “As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life from God’s word for Himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves.”—The Desire of Ages, 390.BSPC 76.5

    The following texts might be found helpful in a further study of this vital phase of Christian experience:BSPC 76.6

    Now we can be partakers of—BSPC 76.7

    The divine nature 2 Peter 1:4
    Christ Hebrews 3:14
    His promise Ephesians 3:6
    The Holy Spirit Hebrews 6:4
    The living bread 1 Corinthians 10:17
    His holiness Hebrews 12:10
    Spiritual things Romans 15:27
    Heavenly things Hebrews 3:1
    Chastisement Hebrews 12:8
    Sufferings 2 Corinthians 1:7

    THEN we, shall be partakers of—BSPC 77.1

    The inheritance of the saints in light Colossians 1:12
    His glory 1 Peter 5:1

    As we thus receive the word of our God into our souls, Christ will abide in us day by day. We shall then experience that intimate fellowship with Jesus, that the “word of Christ” may dwell “in you richly in all wisdom” (Colossians 3:16); then Christ Himself will dwell in our lives. And we shall know in a fuller and in a richer measure that the gospel is “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27), and shall be enabled to say with the apostle Paul:BSPC 77.2

    “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20.BSPC 77.3

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